Wednesday, November 26, 2008

turkeys, for example...

So I couldn't help but give you a taste of the depictions of turkeys available on the web. I guess I have too much time on my hands (no really I'm supposed to be cleaning out the baby's room--its a mess). I've just shared some classic depictions and the only question that pops into my head is where did we come up with the notion that turkeys have multiple colors of feathers (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, etc)?
Turkey #1= decent looking bird, but definitely not something I'd consider eating. See any brightly colored feathers?
Turkey #2=scrawny, looking bird I'd probably feed my Thanksgiving turkey to. Is that wrong? No brightly colored feathers here...
Turkey #3= fat and juicy and happy as can be--pilgrim hat and all. Riiiight!
Turkey #4= Much less fortunate. Hopefully that stuffing makes for a cozy resting place--forget the casket.
Turkey #5= The happy memories for my child craft idea. Oh wait does his sign say "Eat Cheese". Whoops, sorry guys he's on protest!! Happy Thanksgiving! If you consider this option maybe you should change the sign to say something a little more "politically correct".

for the love of turkeys!

So I'm not a big fan of turkey on Thanksgiving. Gasp! Well, I'm not. Its usually too dry. Plus their huge and brown--remind you of anything else? On that same note have you seen them in real life? They're even more ugly. Now to quit "dogging" them, I'll throw a few positive their way. I love you when you're sliced thin and processed so I can make grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches and most recently I love the fun craft treat ideas that make you look so lovable and delicious! Here is the most recent idea:

Turkey Cookie Treats Recipe:
Prep Time: 1 hr. 15 mins.

Sugar Cookie Dough (this recipe is from Betty Crocker so it uses prepackaged mix)
1 container (12 oz) Whipped chocolate frosting
Candy Corn (I used 6 per cookie)
1 tube (4.25 oz) yellow decorating icing
Miniature candy-coated semisweet chocolate baking bits
1 tube (.68 oz) black decorating gel

1. Make cookie dough and Bake cookies.

2. Frost and decorate 1 cookie at a time. After spreading frosting on cookie, add candy corn for feathers. Pipe yellow icing for beak and feet. Add baking bits for eyes; pipe black gel for center of each eye.

Copyright: 2008 General Mills

**I didn't have time to make sugar cookie dough and when I planned this didn't want to use the store bought stuff, so I substituted sugar cookies for rice krispies treats. I made them as usual and then put them into cupcake tins and decorated them from there. It was a lot easier (especially with my mother-in-law's help) and less time!! Here's the finished product...

** Let me just note, we did this in like 15 minutes and were very hurried for the ward talent show. Also, I couldn't find the mini chocolate bites in Orland so we used the Red Hots I had on hand. Just think of these little turkeys as scared to death of being eaten (or on drugs) whatever you prefer. Also, the icing was very tough to work with I'd try a different brand or make my own next time. I loved the rice krispie swap alot!

a deadly fate for scrabble?

So I love playing board games. Growing up it was the only thing you could do on a Sunday evening it seemed. Well, Ryan unfortunately isn't the most excited when I suggest that as the evening's activity. He'd prefer pumping iron together over boardgames anyday. Who wouldn't right? Well, HE'S A GREAT SPORT--most of the time. So I recently bought scrabble and we'd played it a few times over like a 2 week period. I think I won everytime we played. I'm no genius, most my words are four letters and consist of things like SNOW, TOY (add the "S" on the end the next turn around), FUN (what we're having at the time), get the idea. Every now and again I get a big word. Ryan is a perfectionist and doesn't see the point of the game unless he can make amazing words, so that leads to frustration. If we keep score (which I full heartedly believe in) and I get more than 20 points ahead he just gives up. This is what happened during our last game. I was really enjoying myself (ofcourse I was I was ahead by 25 points and I'd made like a 7-letter word that night) and he called it quits abruptly. I was disappointed to say the least. How will I prove to my scrabble mates that this was a legitimate win when he didn't finish the game? Riiiiight. Well, more upsetting was the tiff between us.

The GOOD NEWS of this post was what I woke up to the next morning. I had to take pictures cuz it was a clever and sweet surprise. I am a fan of creative makeup techniques and this one definitely melted my heart. Thank you honey!

P.S. I guess I'll have to let him win next time, if there is a next time (he promises there will be).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's a boy, by golly!

The day of anticipation has arrived! We finally found out what we're having, besides a human being--ITS A BOY! We're so excited! I've posted the details on our blog I had started for the little guy, so I might as well use it right? We can't wait for his arrival! Eighteen weeks to go!!! Go here to see the original post and ultrasound pics! If you have a desire to share name suggestions we're still open. We have a list of about 5 right now we can semi-agree on.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

a tribute to my husband

You are so STRONG, so VALIANT, so BRAVE. Yes, you have your weakness, but that only makes you more FORGIVING of mine. Thank you for LOVING ME. Thank you for your CONFIDENCE in me and the dreams you share of my POTENTIAL. I often forget or am too afraid to realize it. Thank you for BELIEVING in me and believing in US. You are my ROCK, my HOPE, my LOVE, my ETERNAL COMPANION. I will walk with you by your side through THICK & THIN because you are my HERO and I LOVE YOU! Thank you for LOVING ME TOO! This month we CELEBRATE 2 YEARS. Two years of LOVE, ETERNAL MARRIAGE, FAMILY, PATIENCE, FORGIVENESS, 2 years of TEMPLE ATTENDANCE, SPIRITUAL GROWTH, PROFESSIONAL ENDEAVORS, change, happiness & sorrow--and it all means the world to me because you are my COMPANION, my PARTNER, my one TRUE LOVE.

Happy Anniversary!

So, I have been quite busy and unfortunately selfish this past month, reading other blogger contributions and not posting any new ones of my own. So, I'm here to ask your forgiveness and give you a little of what's been going on in hopes you haven't deserted my page just yet...We celebrated our two (wahoo!, no seriously I'm impressed we've made it this far--i'm difficult to live with) year anniversary. We celebrated it early (as we did last year) on a more convenient weekend since it tends to fall on General Conference weekend. (Seeing as we've only been married two years the use of "tend" is obviously appropriate but I guess since the weekend consists of only 2 days and the rest of to week 5 it will eventually be an inappropriate usage, but for the next oh 315 days thus continues to remain present in my description of our anniversary experiences). What was that? Sorry I diverge. Ok, on track we go. So, last year we spent the weekend in San Francisco to test our "true love" and came home fighting--no joke. that city is cursed, if not for other reasons for the reason that everytime we go we get lost, hungry, tired, lost, hungry, and argue. So, we've yet to have a completely positive experience there. So, this year we headed to Oregon--the place we have come to adore and aspire to live someday. It proved to be a much better experience, which can be accounted for a few things: 1) we have another years expierence and "love" (i.e. patience) for each other; 2) we purchased an iPhone so we can look up directions, maps, places to eat, etc when we're on the road; 3) we listened to a marriage tape by Dr. John Lund whenever possible, thus resulting in constant reminders of our affections for each other, our desire to work through differences, and create eternal bliss every minute of our lives.

We had a great drive. Normally we squander to find enough to talk about in the car on long trips--1) Ryan is NOT good at road trips (the 1 1/2 hour drive to sac is a stretch for him--I blame his parents who gave him prizes and bribes to get him to drive in the car as a child. Janice if you read this don't take it personal, but its hilarious how he digresses to oh age 4 when he sits down in a car). Instead of prizes, we stop frequently or it worked well this time listen to books on tape. I am wondering if I need to bring prizes next time though. Anyway, its hilarious and cute that he struggles with it so much! So, we set out on our 3 hour drive to Ashland and here's how it went. We stopped in Redding (1 hour drive so far) for lunch and ipod accessory at best buy. Next we stop in Yreka for gasoline (almost 2 hours) and then FINALLY arrived in Ashland just over 3 hours later. Ofcourse the long journey required a nap, so we retreated to our luxurious hotel room to finally emerge for dinner and a WONDERFUL shakespeare play! It was a great night. We had a nice dinner (ate about 5 lbs of mozzarella cheese) at this delightful Italian restaurant downtown Ashland and then I got a good dose of theater as we watched "Comedy of Errors". It was so fun! We had some brief time to venture into the park there and I can't wait to go back next year for more! What a quaint town--I could live and die there!

Saturday morning we woke to a flat tire and thankfully due to my handy iPhone we found a Les Schwab just down the street. Unfortunately we ended up with 4 new tires, not one (we'd been avoiding replacing them since they're expensive suckers) because they were in bad shape. We decided it was a noble anniversary gift and delighted in the fact that we'd save ourselves 7.25% or about $70 in sales tax. You like my positive thinking! So we sat in the curb in front of Le' Schwab, breathed in the delightful aroma of tire tread, ate hearty almonds for my pregnancy snack, and sunk into deep conversation about the musculoskeletal system (ryan's forte). It was deep and intense!

Soon enough we were burnin' rubber and off to the Oregon coast. The cds proved to be a great hit, not only to produce conversation, but to keep Ryan attentive when at the wheel. That is a whole other posting, but Ryan has a sad history of falling asleep at the wheel (most likely connected to his distaste for interaction with the automobile). Last year when we traveled to Portland he fell asleep and came within inches of hitting a semi truck. So, he's on strick watch since then. I might add that I fall asleep as soon as I'm in the passenger seat so we make for a bad mix. It usually means I drive more on trips because I feel safer. He did a lot better this trip because it was in the daytime and we had the cd on. So our trip to the coast was ANOTHER 3 HOURS! He was disgusted, but not nearly as much as when he found out the trip home after our weekend would take 6 hours since we would not split it up like I planned for the way up there. Sorry! We say beautiful redwoods, sandy beaches, amazing rock formations, and the blue and green waters of the Oregon Coast. It was delightful!! Thankfully he fell asleep on the drive too, which helps time pass better (does it sound like I have a baby already?). What will I do when this becomes a reality next year? We finally found our resting spot in Gold Beach, Oregon. I thought it looked relaxing and a great retreat from busy life when I reserved the place. It said there wasn't much to do there, and I was satisfied. I enjoy laying on the beach, Ryan required activity. Thankfully we found a common ground and he was able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and I walked the beaches with him to get some exercise.

The first day was windy. We ended up wrapped in a blanket trying to shield our faces from the sand as it blew on the beach. Not so fun. Here's where I get difficult--we went to eat dinner at the best seafood and steakhouse in town (aka the only seafood and steakhouse in town) but arrived at 4:55pm and it didn't open until 5:00. I was starving and couldn't wait another minute! Ryan is the polite kind that doesn't want to inconvenience anyone so regardless of the sign that said the bar was open he didn't want to venture inside until 5:01 (if he had it his way 5:10). I couldn't wait. So, it was back in the car to find somewhere else. We drove to the other end of town (which probably took 3 minutes) and found a little diner that looked like it'd have the clam chowder I was craving. It then probably took us 2 minutes to get parked and in the diner (totaling 5 minutes-oh look its now 5:00). Regardless, I enjoyed my clam chowder (it was actually very delicious) and Ryan ate some random salad all because he loved me and wanted to make me happy (either that or he's scared to death of me!).

That night we picked up blizzards from Dairy queen and got a upclose and personal taste of the lovely folk living in that town. "You want a piece of me fool?" Lets just say they weren't too friendly there at dairy queen. Our second day there was much more pleasant in terms of the weather. It was perfect! Sunny, light breeze (its normally quite windy), just perfect. We traveled up the coast to tour a working lighthouse at Cape Blanco, gazed out over the point to see the beautiful west coast. It was majestic! Then we stopped at a beautiful beach and sunbathed. I even convinced ryan (on a bribe) to get in the ocean. My feet were about all that could handle it.

Our eating habits were really off this trip. It proved problematic for eating at the "best" seafood and steakhouse in town. We had a big breakfast at the hotel and then snacks for lunch usually. So, but 3 or so in the afternoon we were hungry. Again, I couldn't wait until after 5:00 so this time we ended up in their pizza joint. It was called "Panther Pizza". It was right across the street from the high school (their mascot being the panthers). It was very nostalgic--I think that whole town surrounded its being around the football team. The whole school probably made up the team. We got a pizza to go and ate dinner on the beach and took a nap. We enjoyed beautiful sunsets! Glorious! Makes you really realize God's majesty! It was like the sun just melted into the ocean.

We left the next day (perfect since the weather turned windy and cloudy) and made that LONG 6 HOUR drive back. It was beautiful, but neverending. I think I made it worse with my bladdar urgencies (thank you pregnancy). I haven't stopped at a rest stop bathroom since I was a child (very fond memories) and oh boy I got really comfortable with them let me tell you, but then that's another blog post I'm creating!! So 6ish hours later and too many windy roads that I took too fast for Ryan's comfort and we made it home safe. It was a very needed getaway and proved to be more calming than frustrating. I owe my thanks to beautiful Oregon, iPhone, and Dr. Lund. I think we'll purchase GPS soon... Oh, and most of all HAPPY ANNIVERSARY sweatheart. I heart u!
P.S. Sorry for such a Looooooooooooooong post. That's what happens when you don't post for a month!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

dream on...

So the road of pregnancy has brought with it intense, very unrealistic, vivid dreams (often stopped short by my frequent bathroom breaks throughout the night). Well, I had one dream tonight (its now 2:53am and I couldn't go back to sleep since I went to bed at 7:30pm last night). So I thought I'd share and it seems fitting to do it as a letter to this lovely person--she's not even a real friend, someone I knew in student ward and wished had become a friend. We'll call her Jane for the story's sake. Here goes...

Dear Jane,

So don't freak out, just blame it on my pregnancy, but I had a dream about you last night. Pregnancy has been quite an interesting road thus far. I've always been a dreamer but these days they're more vivid and more dramatic--last week it was George Clooney and Brad Pitt and I was being chased by a mob in NYC. Fun times. I'm guessing you were in the dream because I came across a blog that really touched me and it brought you to my mind and that you would appreciate it to. You may already be aware of her story--she's from Provo, Utah. Here's her blog her husband and she wre in a small plane crash mid-August and are recovering from deep burns. They have 4 small children. She is an inspiration and her blog amazing! The blog is for updates or more info about the accident you have to go to her sister's blog there's a link on stephanie's page.

Anyway, I woke from the dream and for a moment had a hard time realizing it was only a dream. Then I laid awake and couldn't stop thinking about it, then my hubby started his tradition of snoring/grinding his teeth as if he had a pile of rocks in his mouth and 20 minutes later (which is a long time for me to lay away in bed) I was up consoling my grubbling tummy in order to avoid the beast of nausea. So, I decided to write while I digest these stale crackers.

Point of my letter--I dreamt that we ran in to each other at church in Utah and we hugged, I asked how you were and you told me you were pregnant. I replyed, "Me too!" But in your eyes, I saw were scared to death. I asked and you affirmed as your eyes swelled with tears. (please don't get freaked at the detail-it is legit). Long story short- I took you to the side and started quoting from some talk/book which I never made out in the dream. it was a fond moment in my dream and I shared advise as if I was o-mother-wise or some prophet, but I shared with you 3 thoughts for advise and then we parted as the aquaintances we've remained. I don't remember all three. One was to embrace motherhood, move forward in faith because you'll be a wonderful mother. The one I remember the most can be best thought of if you first imagine me holding a crystal ball--"Jane, I sense that you have not let go of your past. You need to forgive yourself for your past and set yourself free." Ok, so a little sarcasm in case you really think I'm weird by now. There was no crystal ball but words and tears exchanged as I shared the feeling and my own experiences of years of self-torture and not forgiving myself for my mistakes and past choices. (that part a reality). The third I don't remember, but this story is long enough. Then as we parted ways I whispered "get a priesthood blessing".

So, analyze it as you may, but personally as I contemplate the advise given, I'm sure this applies more to me than to you. So, I will embrace motherhood and go forward with joy instead of relishing in the pain (in fact I did that this weekend and it felt good until my siatic flared up and by the end of the night I couldn't even walk to bed, thankfully Ryan lovingly carried me). I will let go of my preconceived notions/expectations of motherhood and love myself, my husband, and this growing child come what may, I will forget my past and move forward in faith, renew my testimony in Christ, and I will get a priesthood blessing. Lastly, I will appreciate this dream as it renewed in me my ability to be a great friend, a true friend. Although it was a dream it brought back a flood of memories of the most heartfelt times in my life when I either consoled or was consoled by a loving friend. Thank you to those of you who have been a tender mercy along the journey of life. I haven't forgotten you.

Sorry this was so long...another reason for you to assume I'm weird. Sorry. I laid awake too long debating if I should write about it to you, so the desire for more sleep and the thoughts to do it won...

Hope life is as you desire and deserve.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Help us protect marriage between one man and one woman in California! Visit

The article below was published on by the first presidency in response to the attack on marriage. I think it is beautifully written and affirms the truths taught regarding the sanctity of marriage and family. Its definitely worth the read.

The Divine Institution of Marriage

Marriage is sacred, ordained of God from before the foundation of the world. After creating Adam and Eve, the Lord God pronounced them husband and wife, of which Adam said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” [1] Jesus Christ cited Adam’s declaration when he affirmed the divine origins of the marriage covenant: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.” [2]

In 1995, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” declared the following unchanging truths regarding marriage:

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children . . . The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.

The Proclamation also teaches, “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” The account in Genesis of Adam and Eve being created and placed on earth emphasizes the creation of two distinct genders: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” [3]

Marriage between a man and a woman is central to the plan of salvation. The sacred nature of marriage is closely linked to the power of procreation. Only a man and a woman together have the natural biological capacity to conceive children. This power of procreation – to create life and bring God’s spirit children into the world – is sacred and precious. Misuse of this power undermines the institution of the family and thereby weakens the social fabric. [4] Strong families serve as the fundamental institution for transmitting to future generations the moral strengths, traditions, and values that sustain civilization. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society.” [5]

Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these benefits to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family.

It is true that some couples who marry will not have children, either by choice or because of infertility, but the special status of marriage is nonetheless closely linked to the inherent powers and responsibilities of procreation, and to the inherent differences between the genders. Co-habitation under any guise or title is not a sufficient reason for defining new forms of marriage.
High rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births have resulted in an exceptionally large number of single parents in American society. Many of these single parents have raised exemplary children; nevertheless, extensive studies have shown that in general a husband and wife united in a loving, committed marriage provide the optimal environment for children to be protected, nurtured, and raised. [6] This is not only because of the substantial personal resources that two parents can bring to bear on raising a child, but because of the differing strengths that a father and a mother, by virtue of their gender, bring to the task. As the prominent sociologist David Popenoe has said:

The burden of social science evidence supports the idea that gender differentiated parenting is important for human development and that the contribution of fathers to childrearing is unique and irreplaceable. [7]

Popenoe explained that:
. . . The complementarity of male and female parenting styles is striking and of enormous importance to a child’s overall development. It is sometimes said that fathers express more concern for the child’s longer-term development, while mothers focus on the child’s immediate well-being (which, of course, in its own way has everything to do with a child’s long-term well-being). What is clear is that children have dual needs that must be met: one for independence and the other for relatedness, one for challenge and the other for support. [8]
Social historian David Blankenhorn makes a similar argument in his book Fatherless America. [9] In an ideal society, every child would be raised by both a father and a mother.

Challenges to Marriage and Family

Our modern era has seen traditional marriage and family – defined as a husband and wife with children in an intact marriage – come increasingly under assault. Sexual morality has declined and infidelity has increased. Since 1960, the proportion of children born out of wedlock has soared from 5.3 percent to 38.5 percent (2006). [10] Divorce has become much more common and accepted, with the United States having one of the highest divorce rates in the world. Since 1973, abortion has taken the lives of over 45 million innocents. [11] At the same time, entertainment standards continue to plummet, and pornography has become a scourge afflicting and addicting many victims. Gender differences increasingly are dismissed as trivial, irrelevant, or transient, thus undermining God’s purpose in creating both men and women.

In recent years in the United States and other countries, a movement has emerged to promote same-sex marriage as an inherent or constitutional right. This is not a small step, but a radical change: instead of society tolerating or accepting private, consensual sexual behavior between adults, advocates of same-sex marriage seek its official endorsement and recognition.
Court decisions in Massachusetts (2004) and California (2008) have allowed same-sex marriages. This trend constitutes a serious threat to marriage and family. The institution of marriage will be weakened, resulting in negative consequences for both adults and children.
In November 2008, California voters will decide whether to amend their state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined in a broad coalition of other denominations, organizations, and individuals to encourage voter approval of this amendment.

The people of the United States – acting either directly or through their elected representatives – have recognized the crucial role that traditional marriage has played and must continue to play in American society if children and families are to be protected and moral values propagated.
Forty-four states have passed legislation making clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. More than half of those states, twenty-seven in all, have done so by constitutional amendments like the ones pending in California, Arizona, and Florida. [12]

In contrast, those who would impose same-sex marriage on American society have chosen a different course. Advocates have taken their case to the state courts, asking judges to remake the institution of marriage that society has accepted and depended upon for millennia. Yet, even in this context, a broad majority of courts – six out of eight state supreme courts – have upheld traditional marriage laws. Only two, Massachusetts and now California, have gone in the other direction, and then, only by the slimmest of margins – 4 to 3 in both cases.

In sum, there is very strong agreement across America on what marriage is. As the people of California themselves recognized when they voted on this issue just eight years ago, traditional marriage is essential to society as a whole, and especially to its children. Because this question strikes at the very heart of the family, because it is one of the great moral issues of our time, and because it has the potential for great impact upon the family, the Church is speaking out on this issue, and asking members to get involved.

Tolerance, Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom

Those who favor homosexual marriage contend that “tolerance” demands that they be given the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. But this appeal for “tolerance” advocates a very different meaning and outcome than that word has meant throughout most of American history and a different meaning than is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Savior taught a much higher concept, that of love. “Love thy neighbor,” He admonished. [13] Jesus loved the sinner even while decrying the sin, as evidenced in the case of the woman taken in adultery: treating her kindly, but exhorting her to “sin no more.” [14] Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not “tolerating” transgression.

In today’s secular world, the idea of tolerance has come to mean something entirely different. Instead of love, it has come to mean condone – acceptance of wrongful behavior as the price of friendship. Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression. But today’s politically palatable definition insists that unless one accepts the sin he does not tolerate the sinner.

As Elder Dallin H. Oaks has explained,

Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination. [15]

The Church does not condone abusive treatment of others and encourages its members to treat all people with respect. However, speaking out against practices with which the Church disagrees on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term “hate speech.” We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage.

Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies. Once a state government declares that same-sex unions are a civil right, those governments almost certainly will enforce a wide variety of other policies intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. This may well place “church and state on a collision course.” [16]

The prospect of same-sex marriage has already spawned legal collisions with the rights of free speech and of action based on religious beliefs. For example, advocates and government officials in certain states already are challenging the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and only place children in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in Boston has stopped offering adoption services.

Other advocates of same-sex marriage are suggesting that tax exemptions and benefits be withdrawn from any religious organization that does not embrace same-sex unions. [17] Public accommodation laws are already being used as leverage in an attempt to force religious organizations to allow marriage celebrations or receptions in religious facilities that are otherwise open to the public. Accrediting organizations in some instances are asserting pressure on religious schools and universities to provide married housing for same-sex couples. Student religious organizations are being told by some universities that they may lose their campus recognition and benefits if they exclude same-sex couples from club membership. [18]
Many of these examples have already become the legal reality in several nations of the European Union, and the European Parliament has recommended that laws guaranteeing and protecting the rights of same-sex couples be made uniform across the EU. [19] Thus, if same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished.

How Would Same-Sex Marriage Affect Society?

Possible restrictions on religious freedom are not the only societal implications of legalizing same-sex marriage. Perhaps the most common argument that proponents of same-sex marriage make is that it is essentially harmless and will not affect the institution of traditional heterosexual marriage in any way. “It won’t affect you, so why should you care?’ is the common refrain. While it may be true that allowing single-sex unions will not immediately and directly affect all existing marriages, the real question is how it will affect society as a whole over time, including the rising generation and future generations. The experience of the few European countries that already have legalized same-sex marriage suggests that any dilution of the traditional definition of marriage will further erode the already weakened stability of marriages and family generally. Adopting same-sex marriage compromises the traditional concept of marriage, with harmful consequences for society.

Aside from the very serious consequence of undermining and diluting the sacred nature of marriage between a man and a woman, there are many practical implications in the sphere of public policy that will be of deep concern to parents and society as a whole. These are critical to understanding the seriousness of the overall issue of same-sex marriage.

When a man and a woman marry with the intention of forming a new family, their success in that endeavor depends on their willingness to renounce the single-minded pursuit of self-fulfillment and to sacrifice their time and means to the nurturing and rearing of their children. Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide. Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment. By definition, all same-sex unions are infertile, and two individuals of the same gender, whatever their affections, can never form a marriage devoted to raising their own mutual offspring.

It is true that some same-sex couples will obtain guardianship over children –through prior heterosexual relationships, through adoption in the states where this is permitted, or by artificial insemination. Despite that, the all-important question of public policy must be: what environment is best for the child and for the rising generation? Traditional marriage provides a solid and well-established social identity to children. It increases the likelihood that they will be able to form a clear gender identity, with sexuality closely linked to both love and procreation.

By contrast, the legalization of same-sex marriage likely will erode the social identity, gender development, and moral character of children. Is it really wise for society to pursue such a radical experiment without taking into account its long-term consequences for children?
As just one example of how children will be adversely affected, the establishment of same-sex marriage as a civil right will inevitably require mandatory changes in school curricula. When the state says that same-sex unions are equivalent to heterosexual marriages, the curriculum of public schools will have to support this claim. Beginning with elementary school, children will be taught that marriage can be defined as a relation between any two adults and that consensual sexual relations are morally neutral. Classroom instruction on sex education in secondary schools can be expected to equate homosexual intimacy with heterosexual relations. These developments will create serious clashes between the agenda of the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children traditional standards of morality.

Finally, throughout history the family has served as an essential bulwark of individual liberty. The walls of a home provide a defense against detrimental social influences and the sometimes overreaching powers of government. In the absence of abuse or neglect, government does not have the right to intervene in the rearing and moral education of children in the home. Strong families are thus vital for political freedom. But when governments presume to redefine the nature of marriage, issuing regulations to ensure public acceptance of non-traditional unions, they have moved a step closer to intervening in the sacred sphere of domestic life. The consequences of crossing this line are many and unpredictable, but likely would include an increase in the power and reach of the state toward whatever ends it seeks to pursue.

The Sanctity of Marriage

Strong, stable families, headed by a father and mother, are the anchor of civilized society. When marriage is undermined by gender confusion and by distortions of its God-given meaning, the rising generation of children and youth will find it increasingly difficult to develop their natural identity as a man or a woman. Some will find it more difficult to engage in wholesome courtships, form stable marriages, and raise yet another generation imbued with moral strength and purpose.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has chosen to become involved, along with many other churches, organizations, and individuals, in defending the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman because it is a compelling moral issue of profound importance to our religion and to the future of our society.

The final line in the Proclamation on the Family is an admonition to the world from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve: “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” This is the course charted by Church leaders, and it is the only course of safety for the Church and for the nation.
[1] Genesis 2:24.
[2] Matthew 19:4-6.
[3] Genesis 1:27.
[4] M. Russell Ballard, “What Matters Most is What Lasts Longest,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 41.
[5] United Nations, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III), 10 December 1948.
[6] David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem (New York: Basic Books, 1995); Barbara Schneider, Allison Atteberry, and Ann Owens, Family Matters: Family Structure and Child Outcomes (Birmingham AL: Alabama Policy Institute: June 2005); David Popenoe, Life Without Father (New York: Martin Kessler Books, 1996); David Popenoe and Barbara Defoe Whitehead, The State of Our Unions 2007: The Social Health of Marriage in America (Piscataway, NJ (Rutgers University): The National Marriage Project, July 2007 ) pp. 21-25; and Maggie Gallagher and Joshua K. Baker, “Do Moms and Dads Matter? Evidence from the Social Sciences on Family Structure and the Best Interests of the Child,” Margins Law Journal 4:161 (2004).
[7] David Popenoe, Life Without Father (New York: The Free Press, 1996) p. 146.
[8] Ibid., p. 145. See also Spencer W. Kimball, “The Role of Righteous Women,” Ensign, November 1979, pp. 102-104.
[9] David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America, pp. 219-220.
[10] Stephanie J. Ventura and Christine A. Bachrach, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-99,” National Vital Statistics Reports 48:16 (18 October 2000); and Brady E. Hamilton, Joyce A. Martin, and Stephanie J. Ventura, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2006,” National Vital Statistics Reports 56:7 (5 December 2007).
[11] Alan Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States,” In Brief, July 2008.
[12] Christine Vestal, “California Gay Marriage Ruling Sparks New Debate,”, 16 May 2008, updated 12 June 2008. is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
[13] Matt. 19:19.
[14] John 8:11.
[15] Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Weightier Matters,” BYU Devotional speech, 9 February 1999.
[16] Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston: The Coming Conflict Between Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty,” The Weekly Standard, 15 May 2006.
[17] Jonathan Turley, “An Unholy Union: Same-Sex Marriage and the Use of Governmental Programs to Penalize Religious Groups with Unpopular Practices,” in Douglas Laycock, Jr., et al., eds., Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008, forthcoming).
[18] Marc D. Stern, “Gay Marriage and the Churches, paper delivered at the Scholar’s Conference on Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty, sponsored by the The Beckett Fund, 4 May 2006.
[19] “European Parliament Resolution on homophobia in Europe,” adopted 18 January 2006.

Shout Out!

This summer I had the privilege of being present at my old roomie and blessed friend's sealing in the Seattle Washington Temple. It was a great reunion between old friends and in October we will have the chance again at Rebecca's wedding. It was the first live sealing I've been to since my own and it was beautiful! I couldn't stop crying. I finally downloaded the pics. Here are just a couple. I love you Laura and you were the most beautiful bride! Being in the temple makes me realize so much more that we need to fight to preserve the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. I can't believe how intensely it is under attack (especially due to the issues at hand in California right now). It has been a test of our faith, and a blessing to realize the Lord's will and that prophets do testify of truth and of the times. There is so much good to stand for in this world. It just takes courage and conviction. When the prophet asks us to give generously of our means, time, and talents I don't know what more conviction we need to go forward. Marriage is such an amazing blessing and now that I'm pregnant, I am realizing what a gift God has given us to bear children. I mean freak how can we produce another human being within our own bodies. Its remarkable! What an exciting road ahead Laura--here's a shout out to Lady Laura!

P.S. I thought this photo of you and Jason was appropriate! I just couldn't resist!

HELP...Blogger Layout

So I'm a retard and I can't seem to figure out blogger. I was a pro at myspace, but I'm just feeling stumped. I want to change my background/layout to one from another website but everytime I do it says the configuration is wrong or I lose half of my info on my page (all my contacts especially). I need help. So many of you have figured it out. What's my problem? I am loving white more than I used to as you will notice in the picture posted we just put up white curtains in our living room and we love them! Thanks Ikea! We were going to go dark, but I decided to keep them light (our floors are wood and our couch is dark too. I've also been changing over the color scheme from lots of different warm colors to black, white, brown, and a poppy red color like our chair as punches of color through. I've got about half the room done. I'll have to finish soon though so I can focus on the baby's room once we figure out the gender (we find out first of november). So, although I appreciate white, even though its technically not a color, I would like to spice up my blog. HELP!

Friday, September 5, 2008

baby beck!

The news is out...we're having a baby! Unfortunately, this post is short because I'm exhausted! I'm in my first trimester and trying to hold back the negative talk as I push through to the 2nd trimester. Its been a rollercoaster ride so far! We are very excited! I'm in my 11th week and am due March31st. I've dedicated a separate blog to this growing baby. We go for our second visit (ryan's first) next week! Hopefully we'll get to hear the heart beat! We also created a video to announce the pregnancy, but we're still figuring out how to get it on the web from windows moviemaker. Anyway, we couldn't be more excited (unless the myth of the stork delivering the baby were true--I'd skip pregnancy if I could). The blog is

Saturday, July 5, 2008

my bucket list

So, recently Ryan and I watched "The Bucket List" and its made me think lately about things I'd want to do in this life. More so, its made me wonder how I can make it all happen. The mission in Africa, backpacking in Central America, New York City and the US Open, Wimbeldon, Europe, the Mediterranean, all seems so far out of reach. Don't get me wrong I'm still counting on Ryan to make millions so we can do it all when we're 60, but what about now? (FYI, in case you missed it, the last sentance was somewhat humorous--I don't expect Ryan to make millions, I'm excepting billions). So I've been devising my bucket list on paper and here it goes (these aren't in any particular order, yet):

1. Live in Portland Oregon
2. Soak up the history and beauty of the east coast--in person.
3. Party it up in New York City.
4. Grand Slam--French Open, Austrailian Open, US Open, and Wimbeldon (this ones for Ryan)
5. Serve mission in Africa (not sure which part yet)
6. Donate money to have a city tennis court facility built and promote children learning/playing tennis.
7. Figi
8. To bear and raise our own children
9. Own a Volvo SUV
10. Live debt free (including our home)
11. Let go of my past--completely
12. Love God more than myself
13. Love myself
14. Adopt a child
15. skydive
16. hang glide
17. Live on a yacht in the caribbean sea
18. raise a fun, beautiful, and talented family
19. become an experienced and good chef
20. learn to sew and create my own line of fashions, home accessories, and textiles (fabrics)
21. Get my masters, and then PHD (wanted it in political theory, but not sure now)
22. Increase my vocabulary
23. Master spanish and learn Italian
24. Become concert pianist
25. Own a Steinway Grand Piano
26. Pursue Journalism and publish a book
27. food critic, experience all the finest restaurants
28. experience fulfillment in my own life instead of envying (or looking for it in) others creativity, beauty, fun, passion, excitement, etc.
29. get all my closets/house orgainzed (this one I can actually achieve, maintaining it another quest).
30. Live in Mexico
31. Be an intellectual guru
32. become a good photographer
33. live close to the beach (warm, sandy beach)
34. Live in San Francisco
35. compose beautiful music with my husband
36. temple worker
37. Be naturally optimistic and love life in the moment regardless of the circumstances.

#1 is definitely raising a fun, beautiful and talented family!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

i hate fire!

So forget exciting stories about the first things your cute kiddies say, my favorite is Ryan's new one..."I hate fire". Yep, its official! He's even writing a song on his guitar about it. Fire is definitely not the nor cal's friend this year, nor the b.e.c.k.'s. As many of you know, we had our very own HOT seat a couple weeks ago! Fire broke out in the creek way away from our house. The grassy field we once coveted (who wants neighbors on all sides of them) became our enemy as the fire scorched across the field. Ok, enough of the dramatized storytelling...well, needless to say we came really close to losing our home, I guess it could have been closer, but it was CLOSE ENOUGH (oh about 30 feet close). Thank goodness for firefighters. Thanks to the fire though, we have 1. food storage 2. first aid kit 3. an ugly view from our back yard and 4. the best memories of ryan carrying to glass pitchers of water to me at the fence to put out the fire with if it came to close (what? I actually threw them on the ground--not much two pichters and a garden hose can do). oh and the best memory of all...I was losing it and found ryan praying in the backyard and all that came out of my mouth was, "What are you doing? Do just sit there and pray, you have to do something. DO SOMETHING!" Riiiiiiiiight. So I guess that will show you the measure of my faith! FYI, before we left the house from being evacuated I suggested we offer a prayer on our home. I'm not that bad! P.S. I'll keep you updated on the "I Hate Fire" song. Watch for it on You Tube!

Friday, June 6, 2008

speaking of packages...

just wanted to say quickly again, how amazing ryan is! i forgot to mention that when i arrived home from utah (at 1:ooam) ryan had left me the most amazing surprise. you may have to close your eyes to imagine the amazingness, sorry no pictures. well, walking in from the garage i notices a poster on the door. it welcomed me home and said that he had left me a little scavenger hunt throughout the house. how fun! first there were cinnamon rolls in the fridge for breakfast to eat while i watched the episode of grey's anatomy that i missed while in utah, then the newest issue of my favorite decorating magazine waiting on the couch, flowers and potting soil outside to enjoy my current hobby of gardening, my fav salad from trader joes in the fridge for lunch, and a new addition to my wardrobe ("because the brown section was looking a littl grim"). how awesome! i couldn't believe it! then the best of all, he was asleep in bed waiting for me! what a stud!

may 2008

I can't believe its already been a month since I posted last. Life is so busy and I know we don't even have kids yet. Well, regardless of that fact...ITS BUSY!!!! In may I traveled solo to Utah to visit my sisters and the kiddies. It was sooooooooo tiring! I never believed the saying about a stay-at-home mom's job being busier than a full-time career. Well, ladies I'M A BELIEVER!!! The gals at the office were concerned I'd come home from the time with the kids and be pregnant or ready to make it happen, but as I predicted it worked more in the favor of birth control. It only took a day or so before the exhaustion subsided and I was ready again for a family! Too bad I can't control that all on my own...
Utah was great! It snowed, poured rain, and shined. Too bad all I brought were flip flops. I was able to attend an endowment session at the SLC temple (my first time there) with my sister Julie. It was beautiful and really made me think! We took a trip to the Hoogle Zoo too! I was also able to see one of my best friends, Emily and her new baby Brennan! How fun! I was however, VERY EXCITED to return home after being gone 8 days. I don't know if I can be gone that long again from Ryan. I guess maybe with time, we're still newlyweds I guess. It will be 2 years this fall and 4 years since we began dating and we are really enjoying our relationship. I think we're growing more and more closer and more comfortable with each other. We have definitely moved beyond the adjustment period---THANK GOODNESS!! We're just both excited about the next chapter(s) of our lives.

After a week of recooperating, we headed off to Santa Cruz for a weekend trip with Ryan's parents. Can I just say that I have the MOST AWESOME IN-LAWS! I wouldn't even classify then as in-laws. They are family to me!!! They invited us to Santa Cruz with them and gave us the most relaxing weekend ever and we really needed it! Work has been stressful for the both of us and it was a needed getaway! Thanks Craig and Janice! You're lifesavers! We ate amazing food, tons of our favorite cookies from Pacific Cookie Co., surfed, laid on the beach, went to the movies, shopped, ate more great food, and just enjoyed Santa Cruz--the crazy place it is.

Life doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon...In to June--camping with my family, more con ed courses for ryan in portland, he's got an old friend coming to intern with him at the pt clinic and living with us half the week, and more stress at work for shizzle! It too will better darn it! Then in July--more con ed (just a weekend course in Sac this time), I fly to Seattle for old roomie/friends wedding and reunite after years of separation, Ryan's sister visits and hopefully they move back from florida, and hopefully we get a short vaca in before the summer is over...oh ya and all those crazy church responsbilities we have lately. Gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Love Comes in all Different Packages

Its unbelievable how many different ways love comes packaged. I can't fathom how much Ryan loves me and all the different ways he either chooses to express it or is forced to because he married me and feels sorry for me. Anyway, I thought I'd share about a moment recently that really struck me...

So, I could tell Ryan really loved me a few weeks ago when he came home telling me he had bought me a book! How thoughtful! That was something I normally did for him. Well, he handed me the book and the title read, "How to be Totally Miserable". WOW honey gee thanks! As if I didn't already have that one down, and that is the exact reason he bought me the book. As you most know John Bytheway is very humorous in his talks and writings and this book was by him. Well, it gave tons of ways to make yourself miserable. Unfortunately, it left me feeling confused because I laughed when I knew I was being stupid for doing the things it said you were suppoed to do to be miserable, but then I also felt sorry for myself because I did them. Needless to say, I did a quick read through the book, it got lost in the seat crack of my car and I'm more miserable than ever. It worked right? Ha, well, I'm not really miserable but its funny how often I catch myself falling into that trap. Sometimes I just am not willing to get myself out of it or stop from falling. I'm still a working on that one. Thanks honey for watching out for me though! I know he has a good heart! Oh, and since I've mastered the book, its on sale on ebay (figured I'd infect the world with misery while I'm at it!). Gotta love sarcasm!

Thank goodness to a loving and committed husband that keeps me out of the depths of self-pity (most of the time) and helps me keep my chin up and my tummy sucked in. This may have been the most stupid or confusing post, but unfortunately I'm posting it anyway.

Friday, April 18, 2008

C-Sections and Ice Cream Babies

Life is flying by and I feel as if I'm just trying to keep up! Its really great though! Well, March started with a weekend getaway to nearby Sacramento. It was great! We stayed downtown within walking distance of our favorite restaurant-- PF Chang's and I had one my most favorite meals ever-- Lemongrass Prawns on a bed of lemon-infused noodles. Oh YUM!!! We also had breakfast at one of our favorite places, Mimi's, where I gained oh about 1 Million pounds that weekend! YIKES! March ended with our trip to Portland Oregon. Thank goodness there weren't any death scares this time. We traveled safe! We had a beautiful drive and made it in less than 8 hours. I spent way too much money shopping and we again, ate way too much food! Let's just say in the past month I did everything I could to defeat my weight loss goals. After only a few days back from Portland I was off to Sin City for a CE class for my job. I learned a lot, but again, ate way too much good food! I've now convinced myself if it wasn't for my genes, I'd be a big fat budha! I've gained some of the weight I lost in Jan/Feb back and now I'm trying to kill off the "eat until I need a c-section for my ice cream baby" phase. If its not ice cream its pizza, french fries, the corn dog and lemon ice I was just craving two weeks ago. Geez Louise! You'd think I'm pregnant, and I'm not despite being nausous and throwing up one morning. I think it was caused by the millions of calories I've consumed in the past month. Note to self-- discontinue eating binge and start starving. Ok, maybe just eating healthy!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Febrero y Abril = Febril...and thank goodness for that! I have been so grateful for the rain (well the torental downpour), but move on out brother! We had one storm that got disconnected from the jet stream and just sat over our house for almost 48 hours straight. It was wet! Well thank goodness it now feels like april! What a saving grace! I was getting that sunshine depreviation my life sucks disease! It has been sunny almost a week and I wore shorts saturday and it was GRRRRRRRRRRRRRReat! We head to Portland for class 3 of 4 for Ryan's McKenzie Therapy specialty and I'm excited to greet Spring in Oregon! I'm very excited! With plenty of snow in las mountains hopefully we'll have an extended snowboarding season! This will probably be our last summer footloose and fancy-free so I'm planning on taking advantage! Surfing, mountain biking, camping, and some traveling. Very excited for 2008!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So, here's a little picture story line of 2007 for me...

I started the year off giving notice as a paralegal (well actually my duties only reached as far as legal assistant, but I am a paralegal) at a family law firm to take a job at my dentist's office as a Concierge. He's a high end general dentist with an emphasis on restorative and asthetic dentistry. We just built a new building and it looks like a cathedral! Amazing place!

Then mid year Ryan and decided it was time to buy our first house. Looking back, we'd change things, we'd have waited a few months and bought something more modest, but we love our home. Having interior design as a major love of mine I fell in love with this house and love decorating! We have really been blessed to have this home. Plus its saving our bacon on income taxes!

The house is so colorful and I love it! It was a model home so they had already painted the majority of the walls. We loved all the choices. The only one I might do different is one of the bedrooms is green and I love the green but I'd like something more edgey. Oh and I'm eventually going to take done the pine cone wallpaper strip in the guest bathroom. It was a log cabin theme home. Yuck!
I love the color of our master bedroom walls! Its like a burnt red! I love the contrast with the black! I'm holding back on more decorating for now to save $$$.

fall.2007. This pic is on a street care in San Francisco. The gals behind me are co-workers. The blond is my partner in crime, Shelly, we manage the front desk together and the gal in the sunglasses is Sandy, she's been in dentistry a long time! Work has kept me busy! I took over marketing for Kremer Dental Care and am now both the Concierge and the Marketing Director. Its stressful, but rewarding. I love using my creative genius. I just celebrated my one year anniversary at work. Crazy its already been a year. I'm pretty much a dental goddess at this point! riiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

pics from the caribbean!

Here we are on our cruise in the southern Caribbean. We were so fortunate to take this vacation. I don't think we'll be taking one like this again for a long time. Its time for a little shift in priorities! Well, we enjoyed ourselves and it went by too quickly! We were able to see Puerto Rico, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Grenada. All beautiful places! I definitely want to go back to Puerto Rico!!! What a blast the trip was! Highly recommended!